Hasbro GameLand

Wood Museum of Springfield History » First Floor

Explore games of memory, chance, speed, imagination, strategy and word play!

Brightly colored and decorated with images of familiar board game box tops, this dynamic exhibit incorporates interactive elements of some of the iconic games produced by the company, such as an oversize, operable spinner inspired by THE GAME OF LIFE. Other elements in the section on Chance are large Trouble Bubbles containing dice, and a coin toss using a lever.

In the Word Play Station kids can play word search games in English or Spanish on a large touch screen. Inside the Word Nook, listening to spoken words and finding the three-dimensional letter that begins each word helps reinforce reading skills while kids enjoy interacting with the technology. Children can also make words by turning large four-sided letter cubes on the Word Wall.

The Coordination Station invites kids to test out their balance as they try to stay standing on raised wobbly disks. At the Racing Station children compete in a race against each other as they pedal as fast as they can to raise balls to the top of a large cylinder. Once the ball reaches the top, they can watch the balls race down a complicated contraption of moving parts that was inspired by MOUSETRAP.

In the Imagination Station, kids can explore an early type of animation, the Zoetrope, by looking into large cylinder painted with images along the inside and spinning it to see the still art turn into animation. It may surprise many that  the Zoetrope was actually patented in this country by Milton Bradley.

At the Memory Station, children watch a series of drums light up and then try to repeat the sequence by tapping the drums with their hands.

The exhibit also includes a brief biography of Milton Bradley, who after moving to Springfield in 1856, transformed his failing lithography shop into a thriving business when he produced THE CHECKERED GAME OF LIFE, thus launching the board game industry in America; along with a timeline showing when some of the company’s most well-known games, such as CANDY LAND, CHUTES & LADDERS and TWISTER, became available to the public.

Made possible by a grant from the Hasbro Children’s Fund.